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Two briefs share City Connects’ positive impact

City Connects

Boston College’s Mary E. Walsh Center for Thriving Children, home to City Connects, has released two new briefs on the impact City Connects is having on students and in schools. 

The first brief – The Impact of City Connects on Select Student Sub-Groups – looks at a series of studies that “have explored the impacts of City Connects on important student sub-groups who are especially vulnerable to lower academic and life outcomes.”

These groups include first-generation, immigrant, and English language learner students as well as African-American and Latino boys and students who receive special education services. 

The studies point to a number of benefits, among them improved student achievement for first-generation immigrant children and reduced dropout rates for African-American and Latino boys. 

These findings are crucial to ensuring that City Connects achieves its goal of addressing the needs of all students.

Continue reading “Two briefs share City Connects’ positive impact”

The Weekly Connect 4/24/23

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Replacing older school buses improves attendance. 

President Biden signs an executive order to make child care cheaper.

A City Connects school in Dublin, Ireland, uses compelling activities to address absenteeism

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 4/24/23”

“It’s about so much more than clothes:” City Connects and Cradles to Crayons at the Massachusetts State House

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Lynn Margherio, Founder and CEO of Cradles to Crayons with Massachusetts legislators Rep. Marjorie Decker; Rep. Paul Donato; Rep. Vanna Howard; Rep. Donald Wong

Earlier this month, Lynn Margherio, Founder and CEO of Cradles to Crayons, and City Connects Program Manager Sara Davey led a hearing at the Massachusetts State House to talk about clothing insecurity in the state of Massachusetts – and across the country.

“The goal,” Davey says of the briefing which was co-hosted by State Representative Marjorie Decker, “was to raise awareness and talk to legislators about how they can help children and families.”

Some legislators were already aware of the problem.

“Several legislators spoke from the heart about their own childhood experiences of living in low income situations,” Davey explains. “One legislator said that when he was young, his clothes came from a local church. It was powerful to hear from legislators who know what the impact of clothing insecurity is.”

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City Connects Project Manager Sara Davey

Cradles to Crayons defines clothing insecurity “as the lack of access to affordable, adequate, appropriate clothing.” Families “may have some clothing and shoes, however, they may not fit properly, be in wearable condition, or be seasonally appropriate for the weather.” 

Continue reading ““It’s about so much more than clothes:” City Connects and Cradles to Crayons at the Massachusetts State House”

The Weekly Connect 4/19/23

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Using a curriculum rich in arts, history, and science led to reading improvements

Title IX athletic rules could be finalized by May.

Ohio plans to boost the graduation rates of special education students.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 4/19/23”

Promoting equity in Salem

Tackling social inequity is hard work. Last year, Salem Public Schools took on this challenge by forming a partnership with the nonprofit organization Equity Imperative that includes feedback from students.

That partnership led to the Student Voice Project, an effort to amplify students’ concerns and help them take action to address these concerns.

“We’re getting trained as adults to be facilitators,” Joy Richmond-Smith, the City Connects Coordinator at Salem’s Saltonstall School, says. “District staff are being trained about equity and race and how they affect our students, as well as about the negative impact of implicit bias and institutional racism in schools.”

The training for facilitators includes the Youth Participatory Action Research (or YPAR) framework, which encourages, according to YPAR’s website, the creation of “positive youth and community development” based on “social justice principles.” 

“In each middle school and high school,” Richmond-Smith adds, “we organized a student voice group that’s supported by an adult mentor.” And this year the program expanded into Salem’s elementary schools. 

Initially, the focus was on first steps. Richmond-Smith and Jaleesa Tentindo, a school counselor, worked with Saltonstall middle school students to identify “a pressing issue at our school that they want to research and then try to come up with recommendations for our school to implement,” Richmond-Smith says.

“The issue they chose was the lack of consistent and meaningful dialogue about race and racism.”

Continue reading “Promoting equity in Salem”

The Weekly Connect 4/11/23

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Girls say social media is hurting their sleep and their mental health.

School districts are suing social media companies, claiming they have contributed to the teen mental health crisis.

This year, the number of school shootings may be higher than last year, according to a researcher who tracks this information. 

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 4/11/23”

A new video introducing our work

We’re excited to announce the release of our new video, “Introducing City Connects.”

Filmed at Boston’s Winthrop Elementary School last fall, the video is an overview of our work that will help us share our approach with schools and educators that are not part of our network.

The video covers some of the many barriers — among them food insecurity and a lack of safe housing — that prevent children from focusing on school.

City Connects addresses these barriers so that children can focus on learning, because, as the video explains:

“Opportunity is possibility. For an educated student, the possibilities are endless.”

The Weekly Connect 4/3/23

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Over the past decade, kids’ mental health hospitalizations have surged

States have been spending Covid relief funds on positive reforms.

The school shooting in Nashville reveals misperceptions about this kind of violence.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 4/3/23”
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